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Clinton vs. Trump: Whom Do Voters Trust on the Big Issues?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The presidential race is still shaping up as Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton. So which of the two likely candidates do voters trust more on several of the key issues facing the nation?

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds that Trump leads when it comes to the economy, job creation and immigration. Clinton has held her lead on social issues but has widened her advantage on the environment. The two are virtually tied now when voters are asked whom they trust more to handle national security. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Voter trust breaks along predictably partisan lines. Voters not affiliated with either major party tend to lean in Trump’s direction.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of all voters now trust Trump more than Clinton to handle the economy and job creation. Thirty-nine percent (39%) trust Clinton more, while 14% are undecided. Trump held a 50% to 38% lead when Rasmussen Reports first asked this question in early September of last year.

Trump also posts a 49% to 38% lead in voter trust in the area of immigration, with 12% undecided. That compares to 52% to 38% in the previous survey.

But there’s been a tightening in trust when it comes to national security. Last September, voters trusted Trump more 46% to 42%. Now it’s Trump 44%, Clinton 43%, with 13% not sure. It’s perhaps telling that Clinton doesn’t have a sizable lead in this area given her service as secretary of State, compared to Trump’s years as a businessman outside of the highest councils of government, but at the same time, national security is an issue on which Republicans usually hold sizable leads.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 11 and 14, 2016 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

When it comes to social issues like abortion, gay marriage and Church-state topics, Clinton holds a 44% to 38% trust advantage over Trump. That compares to 44% to 40% in the first survey. But a sizable 18% are undecided.

Clinton has made her biggest gain in the area of environmental issues. She now posts a double-digit 46% to 35% lead over Trump when voters are asked which candidate they trust more to handle the environment. In September, Clinton held just a 45% to 42% advantage. Nearly one-in-five voters (19%), however, are not sure which candidate they trust more.

The high number of undecideds in two areas where Democrats have historically had a big advantage are notable.

Men trust Trump more in every area except the environment where the two candidates are tied. Women trust Clinton more on every issue but one, immigration, where the two run even.

Those under 40 trust Clinton more on the issues, although roughly 20% or more are undecided in every case. Older voters express more confidence in Trump on virtually every issue and are less undecided.

In late October, just 31% of all voters trusted Clinton in general, and even fewer (24%) trusted Trump.

At the close of last year, Clinton and Trump remained all tied up in a hypothetical presidential matchup.

If former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets in the race, it will be bad for Clinton and good for Trump.

Voters still don’t see President Obama or the Republican-controlled Congress as an asset to their respective party’s presidential candidate.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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